I attended a Stress Management class called Limits and Boundaries. When I first starting going to therapy, this was an issue I really had to work on. I really struggled with boundaries involving my family and people at work.
This was one of my first therapy assignments: Read Boundaries.
It’s a Christian book but it’s really very helpful regardless of your spiritual background.
If you don’t know when your boundaries have been crossed, or what your boundaries are, try this short exercise.
I feel respected when ____________________ .
I feel respected when other people and myself honor my need for empty spaces/margins in life.
I feel respected when people listen to me without judgement and when I listen to MYSELF without judgement.
I can respect myself by…
-listening to myself
-accepting my own ideas
-treating myself as I deserve to be treated
-treating myself as if I’m already part of the group
There are three kinds of boundaries: Behavior, Feeling, & Energetic.
A lot of boundary-setting has to do with be assertive. Being assertive means counting my needs as I count others. My needs are just as important than the needs of others.
How do I become assertive?
The building block of assertiveness training is learning to respect your own needs. Also, learning to accept compliments. Fill yourself up by taking in people’s good energy.
Learning to Say No
(Your Name), will you do _______ ? Can you _____ ?
Say: Let me check my schedule. (It creates space.)
-or- Thanks for asking me, I won’t be doing that.
Some people really struggle maintaining energetic boundaries. I know I do! We need to give ourselves permission to leave those situations. Otherwise, we lose our own energy.
I do this at work. If someone is having a bad day, I have a bad day. If someone has an argument with a friend, I hate that person too. In fact I start hating them more than my friend does, and for a longer period of time, too.
But the thing is? We don’t have an infinite supply of emotional energy. We’ve got to have our own stress management strategies so we don’t feed off of other people’s drama!
What regcharges you? What awakens you?
For me it is laughter, Diet Coke (light ice), screaming (in my car), listening to audio books, going on my favorite drive, imagery (glass force field shield or invisibility cloak), exercising
So… what makes YOU feel alive? How do YOU maintain healthy boundaries?